A great mention on Pacific Standard
I’m listening to “Pagan Poetry” as I work, and it brought my mind back to one of the early influences on this project….cloth tied in the woods, healing, rotting, pilgrimage…
The Clootie Well is a rather weird remnant of an ancient tradition once commonly found in Scotland and Ireland, of holy wells to which pilgrims would come and make offerings, usually in the hope of having an illness cured. The tradition dates far back into pre-Christian times, to the practice of leaving votive offerings to the local spirits or gods in wells and springs…..
Pilgrims would come, perform a ceremony that involved circling the well sunwise three times before splashing some of its water on the ground and making a prayer. They would then tie a piece of cloth or “cloot” that had been in contact with the ill person to a nearby tree.
As the cloot rotted away, the illness would depart the sick person. An alternative tradition suggests that sick children would be left here overnight to be healed. Presumably any with the strength or spirit to survive what would have been an exceedingly creepy ordeal were pretty likely to recover anyway.
From Undiscovered Scotland (land of my People)
Thursday July 16th, 2009 at 6:30 pm Mater Matrix Mother and Medium will reach its performative culmination with a site-specific performance by Seattle-based and internationally-recognized choreographer/dancer Zoe Scofield, with music for clarinet and megaphone created and performed by musician/composer Morgan Henderson .
Come join in this one-time experience at the Pond at Camp Long in West Seattle, 5200 35th Ave. SW.
The Performance, created by collaboration between myself, Zoe Scofield and Morgan Henderson is a hushed reflection on the subtle dynamics of the Forest embedded in the urban environment, at once organic as it is artificial. All three artists, in our own way, having responded to the quirky overgrown tranquility of Camp Long’s little pond, invite you to sit for a short time in quiet observation of the rhythms of this unusual site, heightening your focus through sound, movement, breath and site-responsive installation.
Mater Matrix Mother and Medium began with the creation of a 200 ft.- long fiber river, created in part through a series of over 30 community events all over Seattle, where I taught anyone willing to learn, how to crochet. I then took the fiber “pools” into the forest of Camp Long and spent nearly six weeks on a ladder crocheting the river into the trees, flowing from 25 feet up in the tree canopy to nearly touching the forest floor.
The River, made up of thousands upon thousands of tiny moments and movements of individual citizens, integrated, linked together and interwoven into the natural environment, will itself embed Zoe Scofield in an exploration of how we ourselves are both literal and metaphoric manifestations of the living essence of water. Our experience of water is both one of ultimate intimacy and also of civic structure. This artwork, a unique blend of community engagement and personal inquiry, site-embedded installation and performance, embodies the ancient human practice of acknowledging our own physicality rooted in the cycles of water and how this forms the very foundation of human community. Water, both mundane and miraculous, mirrors the everyday meeting of strangers and the tiny moments that begin to bond us together.
Please consider bringing a blanket to sit on during the performance but lawn chairs will obstruct others’ view. Come enjoy some tranquility!
This project is part of three temporary public art projects in the Water Calling series, and are commissioned by the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) 1% for Art funds. The projects reflect SPU’s management of the complete cycle of hydrology for Seattle’s water resources from drinking water through drainage, and Restore Our Waters, the city’s initiative to protect and restore Seattle’s urban waterways.
Just an idea I’m going to try. So many people have been visiting the park and taking loads of pictures of the installation in progress, I thought it might be interesting to figure out a way for people to share them. I am taking a lot of pictures, but people are taking weird angles, me on the ladder, friends in front of the river, kids heads poking through the holes…
Let’s share…if you belong to flickr, join the Group http://www.flickr.com/groups/matermatrixmothermedium and you can post your pictures for me and others to enjoy. MMMM also has it’s own flickr stream where I do my best to post all of my images through out the project..
Go see Stokley Towles’ piece “Waterlines”, one of the other “Water Calling” projects. Great Stranger review!
Ack!!! Just realized I did not have a direct link to “Water Calling” information on this blog, the series of temporary public art projects that MMMM is a part of. I have been truly swamped this past month. But literally two more days of install…
I haven’t really been able to keep up with the blog while installing the river in the park, but have lots and lots of pictures…